After David built houses for himself in the City of David, he cleared a place for the Chest and pitched a tent for it.
Then David gave orders: "No one carries the Chest of God except the Levites; God designated them and them only to carry the Chest of God and be available full time for service in the work of worship."
David then called everyone in Israel to assemble in Jerusalem to bring up the Chest of God to its specially prepared place.
David also called in the family of Aaron and the Levites.
From the family of Kohath, Uriel the head with 120 relatives;
from the family of Merari, Asaiah the head with 220 relatives;
from the family of Gershon, Joel the head with 130 relatives;
from the family of Elizaphan, Shemaiah the head with 200 relatives;
from the family of Hebron, Eliel the head with 80 relatives;
from the family of Uzziel, Amminadab the head with 112 relatives.
Then David called in Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab the Levites.
He said, "You are responsible for the Levitical families; now consecrate yourselves, both you and your relatives, and bring up the Chest of the God of Israel to the place I have set aside for it.
The first time we did this, you Levites did not carry it properly, and God exploded in anger at us because we didn't make proper preparation and follow instructions."
So the priests and Levites consecrated themselves to bring up the Chest of the God of Israel.
The Levites carried the Chest of God exactly as Moses, instructed by God, commanded - carried it with poles on their shoulders, careful not to touch it with their hands.
David ordered the heads of the Levites to assign their relatives to sing in the choir, accompanied by a well-equipped marching band, and fill the air with joyful sound.
The Levites assigned Heman son of Joel, and from his family, Asaph son of Berekiah, then Ethan son of Kushaiah from the family of Merari,
and after them in the second rank their brothers Zechariah, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-Edom, and Jeiel as security guards.
The members of the choir and marching band were: Heman, Asaph, and Ethan with bronze cymbals;
Zechariah, Aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah, and Benaiah with lyres carrying the melody;
Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-Edom, Jeiel, and Azaziah with harps filling in the harmony;
Kenaniah, the Levite in charge of music, a very gifted musician, was music director.
Berekiah and Elkanah were porters for the Chest.
The priests Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer blew the trumpets before the Chest of God. Obed-Edom and Jehiah were also porters for the Chest.
Now they were ready. David, the elders of Israel, and the commanders of thousands started out to get the Chest of the Covenant of God and bring it up from the house of Obed-Edom. And they went rejoicing.
Because God helped the Levites, strengthening them as they carried the Chest of the Covenant of God, they paused to worship by sacrificing seven bulls and seven rams.
They were all dressed in elegant linen - David, the Levites carrying the Chest, the choir and band, and Kenaniah who was directing the music. David also wore a linen prayer shawl (called an ephod).
On they came, all Israel on parade bringing up the Chest of the Covenant of God, shouting and cheering, playing every kind of brass and percussion and string instrument.
When the Chest of the Covenant of God entered the City of David, Michal, Saul's daughter, was watching from a window. When she saw King David dancing ecstatically she was filled with contempt.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)